Why Brands Are Moving Away From Unrealistic/Retouched Photos in Skincare Ads


Within our current society, beauty and reaching ‘perfection’ are very much emphasized ideals that consume our visions and thoughts surrounding our self-worth.

In saying this, many people have grown outraged at the fact that brands (makeup and skincare brands specifically) constantly share unrealistic/retouched photos of models to promote their products within their brand campaigns.

In fact, just over ten years ago, Olay came under fire in the UK for a magazine ad for a beauty product featuring English model and actress Twiggy, which the company admitted had been retouched. However, since then, many brands (Olay included) have moved away from altering photos in their advertising to promote being comfortable in one’s skin and embracing all imperfections.

To move away from this false portrayal of perfection,  Olay recently announced that they will stop retouching skin in its advertising by the year 2021. Kate DiCarlo, Olay’s senior communications leader, said during a panel at the announcement that the brand had tested out the new no-retouching policy in its Super Bowl ad. “We tested ourselves with the Super Bowl shoot; Our Super Bowl shoot was also unretouched,” she said. And in addition to this, the brand plans to attach their ‘skin promise’ to each ad/campaign in the U.S. and Canada to show that the skin on women featured has not been retouched.

This “Skin Promise” will expand to all of the brand’s ads on print, digital, out-of-home and with influencer partners by 2021.

Do you think that other beauty/skincare brands should follow in Olay’s footsteps, or do you feel like retouching is necessary in certain instances?




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